How to Insure Your Watercraft

So, you were channeling Quint –from the movie Jaws, or maybe Jack Sparrow – from the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Either way you went out and got yourself boat.

Only trouble is, the boats in those movies don’t fare so well on the high seas. So, before you cast off over those murky depths you may want to spend a minute considering Boat Insurance.

What Is the Best Type of Coverage for My Boat?

We recommend purchasing Comprehensive or All-Risks Watercraft Insurance. This will protect you against all risks that you list on your policy.

What can Boat Insurance cover?

Most boat insurance policies will cover the cost of replacing the boat and the other equipment used for operation, including the motor, GPS systems, and sails.

Boat Insurance can cover:

Collision Damage Protection: Includes the cost of repairing or replacing your boat. An extension called Debris Removal Coverage can also be added on to cover the cost of cleaning up the wreckage.

Comprehensive Coverage: Compensates you if your boat is stolen, vandalized or damaged in an accident other than a collision. For example, comprehensive coverage would protect you if someone were to spray paint your boat or take a hockey stick and break the boat’s windows.

Liability Insurance: Your boat insurance policy should also come with liability protection, in the event that some is injured while on your watercraft. Liability protection covers the cost of injury to passengers on your boat, as well as skiers and tubers who are being towed by your boat. The cost of damage to your boat because of theft or total loss of equipment is also covered. Additionally, liability insurance protects you against damage that you cause to another individual’s boat, dock or property, when the claim is directly related to operation or storage your boat.

Additional Coverages

Coverage can also be bought for replacing fishing gear, entering tournaments, oil spill damage, and roadside assistance when towing the boat.  We also recommend that you talk to your insurance broker about purchasing coverage against damages and injuries caused by boaters who are uninsured, so that you aren’t left footing the bill.

So, what’s not included?

Some of the most common exclusions are wear and tear damage, gradual deterioration, denting, scratching, marring, damage caused by animals, manufacturer’s defects (such as defects in design) and ice or freezing damage. You should always make sure to check which perils are and are not covered under you policy before purchasing.

Can I include my boat under my existing Insurance?

In some cases your watercraft may be insurable under your home or seasonal home insurance policy, if it’s a kayak, canoe, paddleboat or other watercraft that does not have a motor. However, we recommend purchasing a separate policy to insure your boat properly, because unlike your home, your boat is not stationary so it faces a different set of risks. These risks include salvage work, wreck removal, pollution, and environmental damage, among other things.

Are There Discounts Available?

Excalibur Insurance represents 15 different companies who offer a wide variety of coverage options, so that all of our customers can have a policy that is tailored to their needs. This means that each company offers unique discounts based on how long you’ve been a driver, when the boat was manufactured, and where you intend to store the boat.

  • We also recommend that you take the time to consider what type of boat you’re going to buy, as choosing safety over performance will keep your premium lower. Buying a brand new boat may seem like a great idea, but the higher the boat’s value the higher the insurance premium.
  • Some companies also offer a discount if you successfully complete a boat safety course. Similar to a drivers training course, this educational class can help you stay safe in adverse situations.
  • Finally, some companies will offer discounts if you have never filed a claim.

You can contact your Excalibur broker at 1-888-298-7343 to see if bundling your coverage is the right option for you. When discussing boat insurance with your broker make sure you explain to them when and how you intend to use your boat, so they can make sure you have the best coverage for your individual situation.

Although boat insurance is not required by law in Canada, we strongly encourage you to research the benefits and consider purchasing at least some form of coverage. That way if something were to happen to your Orca, you’ll be a lot better off than Quint.

Authored By Sydney Wettlaufer